Last year, during a particularly frustrating period where our MTNL DSL
kept getting disconnected every few minutes, we subscribed to the Sify
Broadband service (the only other ISP in the area at the time; this was
a few months before Airtel DSL became available).
Sify claims to provide "wireless" broadband, but that's a bit of a
misnomer. I gather there's a wireless router of some sort on the roof of
the neighbouring apartment block, and they string Ethernet cables from
it to people's desks. The people (from the local Sify franchisee) who
came to install this giant lightning conductor through our study window
cut the cable too short, and spliced(!) on another length to reach our
Sify requires you to run an "authentication client" that talks to their
web server before you get IP connectivity to the outside world. They do
provide a Linux client, but it took some hackery to make it run on our
machines; and the web site it sent us to ("new user registration") did
not like Firefox at all. So the cable-splicers went back to
their office and registered the account for us using their Windows
machine, and we got it all working eventually.
We meant to use the Sify connection only as a backup, and our MTNL line
started working again, so it was a while before we noticed that we had
massive packet loss to the gateway (i.e., the thing on the roof). The
authentication client couldn't talk to its server, so we couldn't talk
to anyone. The cause was obvious to us: the spliced cable. But the
cable-splicers blamed the fact that we used Linux, and said they would
have to call in a Linux expert from Sify central to "check" the problem.
The expert never arrived. I tried to follow up a few times, but I ran
out of time and energy eventually (and unfortunately, we pre-paid for
the entire year). The upshot is that the service has never
worked for us after the first day.
So I was rather amused to receive this SMS the other day:
Dear Sify Customer, due to heavy rain you may face disruption in
service. Regret for inconvenience.
Regret for inconvenience, indeed.